Mapping the gaps between cooling benefits of urban greenspace and population heat vulnerability

Koen F. Tieskens, Ian A. Smith, Raquel B. Jimenez, Lucy R. Hutyra, M. Patricia Fabian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We provide a novel method to assess the heat mitigation impacts of greenspace though studying the mechanisms of ecosystems responsible for benefits and connecting them to heat exposure metrics. We demonstrate how the ecosystem services framework can be integrated into current practices of environmental health research using supply/demand state-of-the-art methods of ecological modeling of urban greenspace. We compared the supply of cooling ecosystem services in Boston measured through an indicator of high resolution evapotranspiration modeling, with the demand for benefits from cooling measured as a heat exposure risk score based on exposure, hazard and population characteristics. The resulting evapotranspiration indicator follows a pattern similar to conventional greenspace indicators based on vegetation abundance, except in warmer areas such as those with higher levels of impervious surface. We identified demand-supply mismatch areas across the city of Boston, some coinciding with affordable housing complexes and long term care facilities. This novel ES-framework provides cross-disciplinary methods to prioritize urban areas where greenspace interventions can have the most impact based on heat-related demand.

Original languageEnglish
Article number157283
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Ecosystem services
  • Evapotranspiration modeling
  • Heat exposure
  • Heat vulnerability
  • Urban greenspace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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